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Continuing Arecibo’s legacy

IU-led Engagement and Performance Operations Center (EPOC) and others help save data from collapsed radio telescope in Puerto Rico

Research and discovery Apr 21, 2021

Millions of people have seen footage of the famed Arecibo radio telescope’s collapse in December 2020. What they would not have seen from those videos was Arecibo’s data center, located outside the danger zone. It stores the ‘golden copy’ of the telescope’s data—the original tapes, hard drives, and disk drives of sky scans since the 1960s.

Now, a new partnership will make sure that about three petabytes, or 3,000 terabytes, of telescope data is securely backed up off-site and made accessible to astronomers around the world, who will be able to use it to continue Arecibo Observatory’s legacy of discovery and innovation.

Working together
Within weeks of Arecibo’s collapse, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) entered into an agreement with the University of Central Florida (UCF), the Engagement and Performance Operations Center (EPOC), the Arecibo Observatory, the Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence Pilot (CICoE Pilot), and Globus at the University of Chicago. 

Together, they’re moving the Arecibo radio telescope data to TACC’s Ranch, a long-term data mass storage system. Plans include expanding access to over 50 years of astronomy data from the Arecibo Observatory, which up until 2016 had been the world’s largest radio telescope.

Read more on the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s website >>

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